Despite being one of the promotion’s deeper cards of 2018, it doesn’t appear that UFC 225 was a massive pay-per-view success.
According to a report from MMAFighting.com, the June 9 event drew an estimated 250,000 pay-per-view buys. That figure is per industry sources and combines purchases through television providers as well as streaming.
For 2018, that number would place UFC 225 behind UFC 220, which was headlined by a heavyweight title clash between Stipe Miocic and Francis Ngannou, and UFC 223, which featured a lightweight title tilt pitting Khabib Nurmagomedov against Al Iaquinta, according to the report.
UFC 225 took place at the United Center in Chicago and was headlined by a five-round non-title clash between Robert Whittaker and Yoel Romero, which Whittaker won via split decision in one of the most exciting fights of the year. That matchup became a non-title affair when Romero missed weight by 0.2 pounds. In the co-main event, Colby Covington claimed the interim welterweight crown with a five-round verdict over Rafael dos Anjos.
The card was expected to be bolstered by the presence of former professional wrestling star CM Punk, who dropped a decision against Mike Jackson in his second MMA bout. However, it did not exceed the interest in his first appearance at UFC 203, which did a reported 450,000 pay-per-view buys in September 2016.
The UFC 225 pay-per-view draw also included former women’s bantamweight champion Holly Holm, who became a big star with her knockout of Ronda Rousey in 2015, and ex-heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski, a longtime veteran of the promotion.
An initial report by the Los Angeles Times estimated the UFC 225 pay-per-view buys at 150,000. UFC attorney Hunter Campbell would later dispute that figure, claiming that actual buy rate surpassed that estimate by “something in excess of six figures.”